Even though he’s coming off the first loss of his professional career, everything feels like it’s moving in the right direction for Kyran Cameron.
Last summer, the Aegis MMA representative stepped into the cage with Dejan Kajic in a battle for the Battlefield Fight League (BFL) welterweight title and landed on the business end of a first-round stoppage result against one of the best Canadian fighters not signed to a top-level promotion.
Now, the promising prospect is poised to make his 155-pound debut, moving down a division to face Dario Sinagoga for the interim lightweight title in the main event of BFL 71 this Thursday night at the Harbour Convention Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia, and airing exclusively on UFC FIGHT PASS.
“It was an amazing opportunity to test myself against somebody — a true veteran,” Cameron said of the chance to face Kajic. “You always hear you learn more from your losses than you do from your wins, and that was definitely the case. “My opponents leading up to that didn’t have his experience, so it was awesome to step into the cage with one of the best in Canada.
“I learned a lot about myself, and I think the overall experience, I definitely matured from it.”
Although it was something he’d always had in the back of his mind, mixing it up with Kajic, who is expected to jump up two divisions for his next assignment and has previously held the BFL middleweight strap, proved to be the final piece of evidence that prompted Cameron to make the drop down to lightweight.
“That was ultimately the catalyst that prompted us to go down to lightweight, but it was also that my three previous opponents had dropped down from middleweight prior to fighting me,” he said with a laugh. “I was kind of out-weighed for the last three fights going into it, and I don’t hold a lot of weight that I feel I need in order to compete at the highest level, which is where I see myself.”
He sees himself at that level for good reason.
In addition to having quickly progressed to facing an experienced, dangerous opponent like Kajic just a handful of fights into his career, Cameron has watched as teammates, training partners, and members of his extended MMA family have continued to thrive at every level.
He was in the corner when Serhiy Sidey won the BFL bantamweight last September, and watched him successfully defend his belt in December. He’s seen Aaron Jeffery win and successfully defend the CFFC middleweight strap, leading to him signing a multi-fight deal with a major promotion.
And a couple months back, Jasmine Jasudavicius marched into the Octagon and picked up a unanimous decision win over Kay Hansen in her UFC debut.
“It’s been awesome having Serhiy win the bantamweight title a few months back and then go back and defend it,” began Cameron, who earned stoppage wins in four of his first five appearances. “I was in the corner with him when he won the title and it was amazing to see him accomplish his goals like that, and to see how much the whole team has matured and gotten closer.
“We’re really piggybacking off each other’s success and the momentum is rolling forward; the team is doing amazing right now. Looking around me and seeing guys and girls in the room get to that level, it’s amazing and super-motivating to see. I feel like it’s my time and I’m ready to seize this opportunity.”
The journey to Thursday’s fight with Sinagoga has featured a few detours, with the bout moving from the co-main event to the main event before the entire show was postponed three weeks from its original mid-February slot.
All that did was give Cameron a little extra time to get ready for an opponent he was already fairly familiar with.
“We shared a couple cards together and he has fought one of my teammates, Zach Powell,” he said of Sinagoga, who has logged all five of his professional appearances inside the BFL cage. “I’ve seen him around; he was on my radar a little bit.
“He’s a scrappy guy and he likes to fight, and that excites me because I like when guys bring the fight to me,” Cameron said of the unbeaten Irishman, who trains at Diaz Combat Sports in Vancouver. “I think that he’s not going to back down, not going to shy away from getting in the trenches with me.
“It’s going to be an exciting fight.”
Having recently been the undefeated talent served up his first career loss, Cameron now gets the opportunity to return the favor, in a sense, when he steps in with Sinagoga, and that’s precisely what he plans on doing on Thursday evening at BFL 71.
“I just need to stick to my game,” he said when asked how he gets his hand raised. “I think I have the cleaner striking between the two of us, so I know that if I stick to my game, pick him apart from the outside, I know one of those shots is either going to put him down or rock him.
“From there, I strongly believe I have all the tools to put him away, whether it’s in the striking or submission game.”